tv Your Bottom Line CNN July 30, 2011 9:30am-10:00am EDT
taking the stand in her appeal trial. they'll be cross exined by the prosecution after dropping a bombshell in court the experts testified the team mishandled the case. back with you at the top of the hour with more live news. but, right now, hand it over to the money folks. we know america's debt ceiling but do you know yours? good morning, everyone. i'm ali velshi. christine romans is off this week. from your credit card debt to your home and car loans your child's education and your retirement, how close are you to reaching your financial limit? we tell you what you can do now to avoid defaulting on your bills. the latest rage on twitter is the rage against washington. can we still trust our politicians to do what's right for the country? and this one i love, meet america's future leaders. they are girls aged 13 through 17, and they have just schooled
the boys at the first google science fair. wait until you hear what inventions got them to the top. we begin with the debt ceiling. while washington continues to try to figure out how to pay its bills, you might be as well. john is with smartcredit.com and car men wong ullrich the author of "the real cost of living." carmen, a fantastic opportunity while everybody is talking about the debt limit and people keep using analogies to the american family and credit card limits, a good time to take stock of your life and how it compares to what's going on in washington. what's your view on this? >> i think there's a big difference between the two. so the comparison doesn't really ring true with me because we can't do things like raise taxes. only thing we can do is get job number three and four. it's important to, of course, look at your own budget and own debt levels. in terms of the government's situation, it's very, very different. i don't think the comparison really gels for right now. again, we can't raise the money like they can. >> right. >> we have to pay attention to
how much debt we're holding on to and how much we're paying for it. if the rating changes of our country and debt. >> your rate may go up. >> our rates are going to change and that's going to cost a lot. >> i agree that it's not the same. i would say the closest annualo for many people is how much money they have invested in their house which may not be worth what it was when they paid for it. >> this is huge. we had a big report from pew research center about the drop in minority wealth. the biggest culprit is the housing market. so much of the net worth put in the housing market. the best thing you can do in times like this when nervous is diversify. if you diversify your holdings and assets no one thing can bring you down. >> john, talk about this for a second, we've talked about the this debt discussion causing interest rates to go up. you know what, we were probably due to see interest rates going up in the longer term anyway. we have historically low interest rates. what does the person watching
this show need to think about with respect to interest rates car men was mentioning. >> if you're managing your credit like the country is managing its credit you're doing it wrong and see your interest rates go up. most believe if we do default, that we will see the interest rates on our credit cards if you have a variable rate go up about 5% which means that the average interest rate of about 15% is going to go to 20%. >> wow. >> remember, ali, the card act insulates us a little bit because they can't apply that new interest rate retroactively to existing balances. however, going forward, for every thousand dollars that you choose to finance at the new interest rate of roughly 20%, that's about $1300 more than it's going to cost you to pay it off over the term of paying only the minimum. keep that in mind if your interest rates go up it may be time to shelf those adjustable rate cards. >> when they started putting on credit card bills what you would pay if you just paid the minimum and how long it will take you,
that's a great wake-up call. back to housing for a second, 28% of homeowners are currently under water on their mortgages. that's according to zillow. but, we got a report from case-shiller which said that home prices compared to last year dipped 4.5% in may. however, month to month, there seems to be some relief. it seems to be maybe bottoming out. what do you do it if you're in that situation? not about revolving credit or credit cards, there's nothing you can do? >> if we see interest rates go up on mortgages you may see some folks being a little skittish to buy, not buying, which they should anyway because any mortgage rate at or below 7% is historic and cheap money and holding on to your home. for sellers sell because you need to sell. not because you're waiting for some big check to come because you're going to be waiting about ten years or more. we're not going to see another housing boom, this is a long-term investment, long-term decision. if you need to sell then sell and do it smart and right. >> john, time to buy? do you agree? >> you know -- >> if you got the credit and a
down payment and job? >> if you are, in fact, on the buyer's side of the equation, carmen is right. there has never been a better time to buy a house because of primarily the interest rates being so aggressively low. now, i'm not sure that we've actually seen the bottom of the housing market and with all due respect i would rather see people wait to buy when all on the way back up not to predict if we've hit the bottom. 50% of your guests today are under water on their homes because i am way under water and right now i would never choose to sell my house because i would take a massive, massive loss despite the fact i'm renting my house, enjoying negative equity in my home. >> on the buying end if you're in a position to buy, i'm not a fan of -- this is not like a stock. this is your home, where you live, this is a community, this is a long-term decision here. you're going to stay put for at least five to ten years. if there's a time to buy now because the problem is, if interest rates go up, whether the market goes down and you wait for a cheaper price, you're going to end up with a higher
interest rate. it ends up balancing itself out. if you're set to buy, just buy and buy the right way. >> i think you're both going to agree you need to understand the new rules around credit. july 21st the rules changed for you and how you access your credit score. give me some sense of what -- how it works now, the new rules. >> the rules actually got better for the first time. the consumers are enjoying unprecedented access to their credit scores. if a lender uses a credit score to do a variety of things, decline you, adversely approve you, approve you but not with good terms, or if they choose to increase the apr on your credit card because of your credit score they have to proactively disclose the credit score that they used to make that decision in the form of a letter. if you apply for credit look at your mail because you may be actually getting your credit score in the mail soon. >> good advice from both of you. thanks for being with us. john is the president of consumer education at smartcredit.com and carmen wong
ullrich author of "real cost of living." americans weigh in on the debt debate, the message get your act together in washington. wasn't done as politely as i said it. can we trust today's politicians to do what's right for the country? we'll talk about it next. see if we can "stitch" together a better deal. that's a hint, antoine. ooh! see what anandra did? booking your flight and hotel at the same time gets you prices hotels and airlines won't let expedia show separately. book it. major wow factor! where you book matters. expedia. it's the cleanest, clearest water. we find the best, sweetest crab for red lobster we can find. yeah! [ male announcer ] hurry in to crabfest at red lobster. the only time you can savor three sweet alaskan crab entrees all under $20, like our hearty crab and roasted garlic seafood bake
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americans are mad at washington's inability to find common ground on the debt ceiling and they are veptsing their rage in 140 characters or less, far less in some cases like this one, for instance. here's the abbreviated edited version. that struck a chord or hashtag with the twitter and got us wondering is washington still a good role model for citizenship? with us now to discuss this, are democratic strategist julie, comedian chuck and cnn contributor john avalon. all of you good citizens who i know have over the last few months, you know, just shaken your heads at what's going on. julie, start with you, there was a time when a handshake with the president of the united states was a life inspiring moment as it was here for a young president bill clinton seen here meeting president kennedy. this debt ceiling debacle in
washington, has the presidency itself lost some of its grav vi tus, not talking about the president, the presidency? >> i think the presidency has not lost its grav tus because the president is still the president. both parties are acting like school kids in junior high school trying to figure out who's going to ask who to the prom and playing hard to get. that's become increasingly frustrating to everybody, i don't care if you're democrat, republican or independent. everybody is fed up, sick of it. this is not high school, not even junior high school i'm going to give them too much credit saying they're in high school. suck it up and realize they're here to do work and not outgame play each other. >> john, you follow what independents are thinking a lot. you think washington politicians today, how could they possibly be seen as role mod snls what message does this inability to compromise, inability to come to an agreement, inability to do what you were sent there to do, what kind of message does that send? >> look, none of these guys are even trying to be abraham lincoln any more. the idea about being a role model you hold yourself to a higher standard and enter public
life that should be assumed. what do we get? on the private side of life we get congressman wu and anthony ween weiner. stuff a drunk frat boy would think twice about doing. on the other side, an inability to reason together. thinking about special interests not national interests and bringing the nation to the brink of default. this is an epic fail across all fronts. congress is doing a terrible job of being a role model to average americans and americans realize if they behave this way they would get fired from their job. >> chuck's suggestion, you think that we shouldn't be looking at congress as role models. you're thinking role models should be what you are to your kids. a parent. >> because congress, they are role models, they're just the wrong kind of role models. a lot of rappers are role models but i don't want my kid acting like them. i don't want my kid getting shot nine times like 50 cent. as far as i'm concerned, these guys are role models but they're the worst kind. i'm the best role model for my
children. i'm an excellent father. i make bill cosby look like joan crawford. >> julie, what -- here's the thing. we think -- we live busy lives in our democracy, the sense here is we elect people who are smart to go in and do the tough things that have to be done, negotiate, come to compromise. now we have taken this view compromise is a bad thing and that the thing you go to washington to do is stand your ground and don't let the other side win. >> well, and i think what you've seen with the rise of the tea party, is that exactly. you have a bunch of people who have no experience in elected office going in with a strong ideological and doing mattic point of view and it's their way or the highway. washington has always been about compromise. you never get 100% of what you want. i thought these guys were going to come to that conclusion before we defaulted but i'm thinking they may be that nuts, the guy that's going to put the girl on the train tracks and let it run over here. they are going to tank this
country. it's unbelievable. >> they need a civics lesson, that's what it is. >> a combination of a civics and economics lesson. we thought we were getting with this ground swell movement you wrote about, john, we thought we were getting the people taking control, saying i'm going to have a say in how things are done in washington, and it seems to have set us back? >> look, there's nothing better than the idea of citizen politician. the tea party movement was motivated by this idea of bringing down the deficit and debt. which is a form of generational theft. instead, we saw these folks get a bipartisan grand agreement in place, whether it's gang of six, simpson bowles or the president and boehner's plan and rejected it because it didn't meet an all or nothing tax pledge that wasn't the point of the tea party movement in the first place. the problem with all or nothing you usually end up with nothing and that's what america is coming to realize at the 11th hour. this is a dangerous game we're playing and not serving the american people well at all which is why they are rightly furious about the dysfunctional debt ceiling debate in washington. >> chuck, is it possible that
you could ever talk to your kids and say, they should go into politics? >> no. i would rather -- no. i mean, there are other far more, how shall i put it, noble professions, porn actor, no, i'm joking. i wouldn't want my kids to go into public service unless they wanted to be public servants and that's the problem with our government right now. you have a bunch of people who are ideologues and not public servants, not serving the greater good and thae seems to be the problem. >> julie of the four, you get to see these people before they run for office. they can't all start off this way. >> they all start with the best of intentions. i see these tea party guys in the mind they have the best of intentions. they get down there, like being, you know, everybody always says politics is hollywood for ugly people. they think they're rock stars, mick jagger, women throwing themselves at them. they have perks, likes of which the american voter has never seen. it goes to their head and i think they start to believe they
are the chosen and the bottom line is they are the chosen in the sense that we chose them to lead our country but instead they've chosen to -- a lot of guys have chosen to submarine our economy. he was down 2%. that's not a wake-up call to the tea partiers i don't know what is, wall street is evil so it doesn't matter if the s&p 500 is down 2% as long as they stick to their guns. so destructive and unhealthy. >> uncompromising way to look at things. hope everybody starts to see things differently. if it were up to me i would let you solve this debt ceiling problem. julie a democratic strategist, john a cnn contributor and chuck nice is a brilliant comedian. role models meet three average teenage girls who are definitely going to change the world. i'm going to talk to them next. don't want to miss this. i have astigmatism.
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american students. according to the study by the american association of university women, more high school boys than girls took advanced placement tests in mathematics and science. the things so important to our future and a far greater number of men earned bachelors degrees in science and engineering than female bachelor's agrees in science and engineering than their female counterparts, despite the fact that more women than men go to college. but the tide might be shifting. at google's first-ever science fair, where more than 10,000 students from 91 countries entered, it wasn't just an american sweep, but an american girl sweep in all three age categories. with me now are grand prize winner, sri bo. she won in the 17 to 18 age category. naomi shaw, the winner in the 15 to 16 age group category, and here with me in studio is lauren hodge, she won in the 13 to 14 age group.
congratulations to all of you. brilliant, brilliant girls. sri, when you were in the second grade, where i was seeing how ants reacted to having water poured on them, you were turning spinach blue, because you thought it might be more appealing to kids. that is not what won you the grand prize, something substantially more resistant. tell me what you did. >> we found a link between this one protein and the development of drug resistance in ovarian cancer. slightly more complicated. >> it is complicated. i'm certainly not going to try to simplify that for me. but ovarian cancer is a difficult cancer. it's often detected very late in women and we really are trying to figure out where it comes from and how best to treat it. why did you decide to go down this road? >> actually, two years ago, my
grandfather passed away of cancer and i decided i really wanted to go cancer research and go into the medical field, so i started e-mailing professors and the one who actually accepted me at the unt health science center here in ft. worth actually specialized in breast and ovarian cancers. so that's kind of how i got started down this road. >> brilliant. and naomi, with let's talk about you. you did some studies on indoor air quality and how it -- how that can relate to asthmatics who have to take medication? >> yes. so my research focuses on how the pollutants in our home and workplace, like the particulate matter and the chemical pollutants affect the lung health of asthmatic patients. >> wow. again, what got you in there? >> so a lot of my friends and family suffer from severe allergies. my dad, my brother and i, we all have severe allergies, and that could develop into severe asthma in the future.
and seeing a lot of my family suffer from asthma, it got me really interested in this. so i found that over 1.2 million people die from asthma every year. so i really wanted to target this disorder from the root, and that's why i was focusing on the environmental aspect, which is the pollutants in our homes, workplaces and schools, where we spend over 90% of our lives. >> that is brilliant. amazing. all right, lauren from pennsylvania, lauren hodge in the 13 to 14 age group. lauren, you were inspired by something we do. it's the middle of summer. we all think of throwing something on the grill. you put chicken on the grill, it tastes fantastic, but people say it could have carcinogens in there, that beautiful, crispy blackened marks on the chicken. y you decided to tackle that. >> and before i considered marinading the chicken was an article in our doctor's office, but also the grilling of the chicken at summertime was basically the start of my project. >> what did you find? >> i found that with lemon juice, saltwater and brown sugar, those marinades can stop a reaction that occurs in
grilled chicken that forms carcinogen, and these three marinades can help stop the reaction. >> you should be going into the 9th grade and you're going into the 11th grade. >> yes. >> how do you react when you just heard that girls don't like science, you're nodding your head yo head, you like science? >> i like science and i always have. i think there's a trend in my school that more and more girls are getting into science. >> just the trend is different? >> even from a young age, there used to be more of a stereotype between girls and boys, but i think it's disappearing. >> i think you're part of the reason it's disappearing. when people watch the three of you and realize how successful and smart you are, i'm looking forward to follow the three of you in your careers as you find cures for things. shree bose in ft. worth, texas, and lauren hodge here in
pennsylvania. and a pennsylvania school district is going to extraordinary lengths to trim costs and they're being a little sheepish about it. only superpages.com®. for local maps, deals and more, go to superpages.com®. and let the good guys save the day. it's the cleanest, clearest water. we find the best, sweetest crab for red lobster we can find. yeah! [ male announcer ] hurry in to crabfest at red lobster. the only time you can savor three sweet alaskan crab entrees all under $20, like our hearty crab and roasted garlic seafood bake or snow crab and crab butter shrimp. [ jon ] i wouldn't put it on my table at home, i wouldn't bring it in. my name's jon forsythe, and i sea food differently.
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we talk a lot on this show about school districts struggling with budget constraints and the affect that it has ton teachers, class sizes, and the community. well, one district in pennsylvania has come up with a unique way to trim costs by having sheep trim the lawn. cnn photo journalist effy need ha needham takes a look. >> the school district is saving approximately $15,000 this year on maintenance costs for the grounds. we're using the sheep to trim the grass. >> i think that's funny. >> we have kia and kipper, their mom, mist. i guess you could call me a shepherd. my name is eric sands, i'm the assistant principal here in pennsylvania, and we also run a small hobby farm called woolly wonders. >> i thought we should ride down here and see if there were actually sheep at the solar
panels, and they, in fact, are. >> we have about 6 1/2 acres of solar panels. they're reducing the district's costs for buying energy. >> i think it's a good idea, because they won't need the gasoline that the lawn mowers need. >> the sheep sleep out here, they're out here 24/7. the only thing the sheep need are grass, water, and some minerals. nobody lost their job. you know, everybody is still working this summer. anything we can do to save money allows us to take that money and put it elsewhere, into programs, into athletics. in the wirnter time, as the gras goes away, there's no need for the sheep here, i'll take them back to our farm. they don't see it as work, they're not getting paid, they don't need any incentive, they're just doing what they do. >> we would like to spend a special congratulations to our executive producer michael caine and their his wife, jen, on the birth of their baby girl. payton